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Academy star hails 'surreal experience'

Filed: Monday, 22nd October 2018
By: Staff Writer

Grady Diangana was delighted at getting some valuable game time against Tottenham on Saturday - even though he was left frustrated by the final result.

The Academy youngster, who signed a new two-year deal with West Ham during pre-season was introduced as a substitute for the stricken Andriy Yarmolenko five minutes before half time.

And despite ending up on the losing side thanks to Erik Lamela's goal on the stroke of half time, Diangana was delighted to get more Premier League experience under his belt.

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"For me, it was a surreal experience getting that many minutes, but the feeling was kind of overshadowed by the result," he told whufc.com. "It showed that the staff and the manager believe in me, so I want to grasp every opportunity he gives me and continue to be able to get more opportunities.

"When you're on the pitch, you try to be the best player you can be. I'm just trying to get better and hopefully I'll get that start soon. I'm learning every day. I'm learning how to make connections with the players, learning how they play and how it can better my game.

"I feel part of it, I feel like they've taken to me well and I can talk to anyone and ask for any advice and they always reply to me - so that's good."

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And the youngster - who has been as West Ham since he was just ten years old - felt he was unlucky not to be awarded a spot kick against Spurs after he was felled inside the penalty box.

"I thought there was contact and I felt that it was a penalty," he added, "but the ref didn't so we just played on. That chance just wouldn't fall for us, but we're still in good spirits and we're looking forward to the next game."

The odds on an Academy graduate reaching the first team have greatly shortened in recent years; for those seeking to back potential future stars, here is a comprehensive collection of football betting terms in the form of a betting glossary.

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